Special Education--Grants to States
Program Office: Office of Special Education Programs(OSEP)
CFDA Number: 84.027
Program Type: Formula Grants
Also Known As: Grants to States for Education of Children With Disabilities, Part B, Sec. 611
Program Description The Grants to States program provides formula grants to assist the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Department of the Interior, outlying areas (American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and the freely associated states (the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau) in meeting the excess costs of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities. In order to be eligible for funding, states must serve all children with disabilities between the ages of 3 through 21, except that they are not required to serve children of ages 3 through 5 or 18 through 21 years if services are inconsistent with state law or practice or the order of any court.
Funds are allocated among states in accordance with the statutory formula in Sec. 611 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). First, each state is allocated an amount equal to the amount that it received for FY 1999. If the amount available for allocation to states increases or is equal to the amount allocated the prior year, 85 percent of the remaining funds are allocated based on the number of children in the general population in the age range for which the state guarantees a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities. Fifteen percent of the remaining funds are allocated based on the number of children living in poverty that are in the age range for which the state guarantees FAPE to children with disabilities. If the amount available for allocation to states decreases from the prior year, any amount available for allocation to states above the 1999 level is allocated based on the relative increases in funding that the states received between 1999 and the prior year. If there is a decrease below the amount allocated for 1999, each state’s allocation is ratably reduced from the 1999 level. The formula also includes several maximum and minimum funding requirements. Most of the federal funds provided to states must be passed on to LEAs. However, a portion of the funds may be used for state-level activities. Any funds not set aside by the state must be passed through to LEAs. These sub-state allocations are made in a fashion similar to that used to allocate funds among states when the amount available for allocation to states increases.
This is a forward-funded program that includes advance appropriations. In a typical year, a portion of the funds— the forward funded portion—become available for obligation on July 1 of the fiscal year of the appropriation and remain available for 15 months, through Sept. 30 of the following year. The remaining funds—the advance appropriation—become available for obligation on Oct. 1 of the fiscal year following the year of the appropriations act and remain available for 12 months, expiring at the same time as the forward-funded portion. For FY 2011, school districts will use both the forward- and advance-funded amounts primarily during the 2011–12 school year.
TYPES OF PROJECTS
Funds under this program are combined with state and local funds to provide FAPE to children with disabilities. Permitted expenditures include the salaries of special education teachers and costs associated with related services personnel, such as speech therapists and psychologists. States may use funds reserved for other state-level activities for a variety of specified activities, including: support and direct services; technical assistance and personnel preparation; assisting LEAs in providing positive behavioral interventions and supports; and improving the use of technology in the classroom. Some portion of funds reserved for other state-level activities must be used for monitoring, enforcement, and complaint investigation, and to establish and implement the mediation process required by Sec. 615(e) of IDEA, including providing for the cost of mediators and support personnel.
Each state has the option to reserve a portion of the funds the state reserves for other state-level activities for a fund to assist LEAs in addressing the needs of high-cost children with disabilities. If the state opts to reserve for this fund, it may reserve a larger portion of its award for other state-level activities, and must reserve at least 10 percent of the amount set aside for other state-level activities for the fund.
In FY 2010, this program served 6,614,000 children.